Tuesday, August 19, 2014

#Smugshot

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LIVE VIDEO: Fayetteville City Council Considers LGBT Rights Ordinance

Watch it live right now. (Tipped by JMG reader Brandon)

UPDATE: A council member has already introduced an amendment that would force the ordinance to a public vote.

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IDAHO: Ninth Circuit Court Denies En Banc Hearing Of Marriage Ban Overturn

Via Equality On Trial:
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Idaho’s request to hear Latta v. Otter, the challenge to the state’s same-sex marriage ban, with a panel of eleven judges. The state asked the court for an initial en banc hearing; in most circuit courts, that would mean all of the judges in the circuit, but since the Ninth Circuit is so large, en banc review consists of a panel of eleven judges. Latta will be heard on September 8 along with cases from Hawaii and Nevada. Each side in the Idaho case will have 30 minutes, while each side in the Nevada case, Sevcik v. Sandoval, will have 15 minutes, and each side in Jackson v. Abercrombie, the Hawaii case, will have 10 minutes.

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Happening Right Now In Texas...

Details.

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LOS ANGELES: Couple Tried For Killing "Gay Acting" Eight Year-Old Son

In a case that mirrors a similarly tragic outcome earlier this year in Oregon, a Los Angeles couple is being tried for viciously abusing and murdering the mother's eight year-old son after taunting him for playing with dolls. You may not want to read any further.
Before 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was allegedly beaten to death by his mother and her boyfriend, they doused him with pepper spray, forced him to eat his own vomit and locked him in a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth to muffle his screams, according to court records made public Monday. Sworn grand jury testimony provided a graphic examination of the abuse that the Antelope Valley boy allegedly suffered before his death in May of 2013. The incident prompted calls for sweeping reforms to the troubled Los Angeles County foster-care system because child welfare workers failed to remove the boy. Officials have taken steps to fire two social workers and two supervisors, while others involved in the case received letters of warning or reprimand. Fernandez and Aguirre deliberately tortured the boy to death, hiding their tracks with forged doctor's notes and lies to authorities, Deputy Dist. Atty. Jonathan Hatami told the grand jury. "For eight straight months, he was abused, beaten and tortured more severely than many prisoners of war," Hatami said. The abuse worsened in the months leading up to Gabriel's death, according to testimony from two of his siblings, both of whom are minors. They said Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces, rotten spinach and his own vomit. He slept in a locked cabinet and wasn't let out to go to the bathroom. Fernandez and Aguirre called Gabriel gay, punished him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls' clothes to school, the siblings said.
Gabriel had written a suicide note, but child welfare authorities reportedly "dismissed" that information because the note contained "no specific plan" for him to kill himself. (Tipped by JMG reader Dennis)

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AG Pam Bondi: Gay Floridians Should Just Stay In Limbo Until SCOTUS Rules

Earlier this month Florida AG Pam Bondi told a state appeals court to sit on its marriage cases without ruling and without kicking them upstairs to the state Supreme Court. Today she told reporters that it doesn't make sense for Florida to move towards legalizing marriage right now because other states have cases pending before SCOTUS. Four separate Florida county courts have ruled in favor of marriage equality in recent weeks, but Bondi is keeping those rulings in indefinite limbo.

(Via Good As You)

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Department Of Labor Vows To Enforce Transgender Anti-Discrimination Rules

From Patricia Shiu, director of the Office Of Federal Contract Compliance Programs:
The federal government holds contracts with about 200,000 establishments, and these contractors and subcontractors play an important role in making our country work. They provide food, clothing, energy, transportation, medical treatment and thousands of essential services all around the country. As the director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, I oversee the agency that enforces laws that prohibit these employers from discriminating in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, status as a protected veteran or sex.

Today, we issued guidance clarifying that sex discrimination extends to gender identity and transgender status. This follows an announcement Secretary Perez made in June that the department is updating enforcement protocols and anti-discrimination guidance to clarify that we provide the full protection of the federal non-discrimination laws that we enforce to transgender individuals. And it follows President Obama's signing of Executive Order 13672 adding sexual orientation and gender identity as independent categories protected by Executive Order 11246, which OFCCP enforces.

So what does this mean? It means honoring our commitment to upholding equality in America's workforce. Being entrusted with taxpayer dollars is a privilege, and with that privilege comes a promise to open doors to all of America's workers. I believe that success for OFCCP and for federal contractors isn't simply about compliance. It's about creating a workplace culture that actively embraces diversity. Inclusiveness isn't just good for workers; it's smart for business. When employees can work without fear, when they can comfortably bring their whole selves to the job, companies benefit from the diverse perspectives and enthusiasm those workers bring to the job.
The image above illustrates Shiu's press release.

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Supreme Court Haiku

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Pat Robertson: When Faith Healing Fails, It's Because People "Enjoy Their Sickness"

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Smithsonian Adds LGBT History Items

Via the Associated Press:
Hundreds of photographs, papers and historical objects documenting the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are being added to the Smithsonian Institution's collection Tuesday, including items from the popular TV show "Will and Grace." Show creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick along with NBC are donating objects to the National Museum of American History. The collection includes original scripts, casting ideas, political memorabilia surrounding the show and the series finale. The network agreed to donate props, including a pill bottle and flask, a sign from "Grace Adler Interior Design" and Will Truman's framed college diploma.  The donation is part of larger effort to document gay and lesbian history, an area that has not been well understood at the museum. Curators are collecting materials from LGBT political, sports and cultural history objects from Arizona to Maryland. Some items being donated include the diplomatic passports of Ambassador David Huebner, the first openly gay U.S. ambassador confirmed by the Senate, and his husband; materials from a gay community center in Baltimore; and photography collections from Patsy Lynch and Silvia Ros documenting gay rights activism.
Other items in the collection include a tennis racket from Renee Richards, who won a landmark court battle after being barred from competing in the 1975 US Open.

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Lady Gaga And Tony Bennett:
I Can't Give You Anything But Love

Another track from their coming duets album. From the press materials:
Cheek To Cheek features classic jazz standards sung by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett in a combination of vocal duets and solo performances. From the title track to “But Beautiful” to “I Won’t Dance,” the record’s duets showcase the chemistry between the two artists, who span 60 years in age. As Bennett says, “What I really love about being a jazz singer is that jazz artists are very creative, very honest, from phrase to phrase” and Lady Gaga adds, “We wanted to make something that sounded perfect because of the quality of the emotion…the honesty.” Cheek To Cheek also features the Lady Gaga solo, “Lush Life,” accompanied by Tony Bennett’s solo of “Sophisticated Lady.” The two songs complement each other, as Lady Gaga explains, “I loved making ‘Lush Life,’ Tony mentored me emotionally through the process,” and Tony Bennett adds, “I sang ‘Sophisticated Lady’ to answer her on ‘Lush Life,’ and because Duke Ellington wrote it, who collaborated with Billy Strayhorn, the writer of ‘Lush Life.’”
On October 24th, PBS will air a special on Cheek To Cheek that was taped at Lincoln Center.

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Kluwe Settles With Minnesota Vikings

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TRAILER: The Remaining

A rapture/horror film. "There are fates worse than death."

(Via Christian Nightmares)

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Ben Carson Prays For Rick Perry

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New From House Candidate Sean Eldridge

A former Freedom To Marry staffer, Eldridge is the husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. He faces two-term Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY), whose first act after being elected was to vote for the repeal of Obamacare. Eldridge is challenging the result of a recent poll which shows him trailing badly.
“I think people are frustrated with this Congress,” Eldridge said. “I don’t think people are happy. What I think voters don’t want is to sue the president and waster taxpayer dollars on that ... We have to do better than the least productive Congress in the country.” He also questioned opinion polling, commissioned by the United Transportation Union, that showed Gibson ahead by 27 points (56 to 29), as of Thursday. On Thursday, Gibson tweeted that a, “New independent poll has me up big over Sean Eldridge. We’ll keep working hard to win a decisive victory in November.” The United Transportation Union had donated $7,500 to the Gibson campaign for the current election cycle, and another $7,500 two years ago. “... If you have a poll being done by an organization that’s donated to a candidate, I think that makes it less independent,” Eldridge said.
Elridge's just-released ad is below.

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TENNESSEE: Hate Groups To Hold "Moral Revolution" Convention On Marriage

A coalition of anti-gay groups will hold a convention in Nashville to plot the next stages of their opposition to same-sex marriage.
The ERLC National Conference will address “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage” to equip Christians to apply the gospel on these issues with convictional kindness in their communities, their families and their churches. This event will be held at the iconic Opryland Hotel on October 27-29, 2014. Are you and your church prepared for the moral revolution surrounding homosexuality and same-sex marriage happening across America? While human sexuality and social institutions are being redefined before our very eyes, the Bible presents marriage as an unchanging picture of the gospel through the union of one man and one woman. The gospel announces that the story of Jesus is greater than the sum total of our sexual desires.
Among the event's sponsors are Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus On The Family, Concerned Women For America, Christianity Today, numerous Christian colleges, and the Manhattan Declaration, whose signees vow to disobey laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination. The event's title host is the Southern Baptists Convention.

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Headline Of The Day

Details.

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God Vs Westboro

Via Gay Star News:
The brain behind Facebook’s popular ‘God’ humor page has crowdfunded over $40,000 in a campaign to erect pro-gay billboards in the home town of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. ‘God’s’ followers pledged the funds in just ten days, and ‘God’ now plans to buy more billboards with the message that ‘God loves gays’ in other parts of the United States if he can raise further funds. Supporters will be rewarded with bumper stickers, limited edition t-shirts and posters saying ‘God loves gay’ signed by ‘God’ himself. Around 1,200 people pledged to fund the campaign with donations of between $1 and $75 for the total package of rewards. God announced yesterday that he had booked the first billboard and that it will be erected in Topeka, Kansas on 8 September.
This is a different God than the one on Twitter. The crowdfunding page is here. Below is the promo clip that went up last week.

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NEW YORK: Upstate Wedding Venue Fined For Refusing Same-Sex Ceremony

Via Gay City News:
The New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) has found that a rural wedding venue that denied a lesbian couple use of its facility violated the state’s Human Rights Law. In the August 8 ruling –– first reported in the Albany Times Union –– Acting Commissioner Helen Diane Foster formally adopted a recommendation by Migdalia Pares, an administrative law judge, that the two women receive $1,500 each in compensatory damages and the venue, Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, located between Albany and Saratoga Springs, pay the state a fine of $10,000.

In 2012, seeking a rustic setting for their marriage, the couple, Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, contacted Liberty Ridge, which advertises online as a wedding venue. In a telephone conversation, Cynthia Gifford, a co-owner, initially encouraged Melissa to visit the facility. According to the DHR ruling, however, when Melissa referred to her fiancé, who was listening in on to the call as well, as “she,” Gifford told her there was “a little bit of a problem” because “we do not hold same-sex marriages here at the barn.”

When Melissa challenged the legality of Liberty Ridge’s policy, Gifford responded, “We are a private business.” Pressed to explain why the venue had the policy, Gifford responded, “It’s a decision that my husband and I have made that that’s not what we wanted to have on the farm.” Answering the couple’s discrimination claim, the Giffords contended they have a “specific religious belief regarding marriage.”
The attorney for Liberty Ridge says that he was surprised that the venue did not get an exemption from state law under Hobby Lobby. An appeal is being considered.

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From The GOP: Senate Democrats Are Pretending That They Aren't Democrats

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FRC VP Peter Sprigg: "Ex-Gay" Torture Should Be Legal Because Robin Williams

"If we were to apply the same standards to drug and alcohol rehabilitation that the homosexual activists want to apply to reorientation therapy, why not ban rehab? After all, since some people go to rehab and still suffer relapses afterwards, rehab is clearly 'ineffective.' Robin Williams actually went to rehab, and shortly thereafter took his own life. Does that not clearly indicate that rehab is not only ineffective, but downright harmful? In addition, there are surely people who consume alcohol or use illicit drugs but are still able to function and make productive contributions to society — so there is obviously nothing inherently wrong with alcohol or drugs. Allowing people who struggle with their alcohol or drug use to seek professional help to discontinue them implies there is something wrong with them — thus reinforcing the unfair social stigma which attaches to people who use alcohol and drugs. And surely 'family intervention' to force someone into rehab is a violation of their personal autonomy. In light of all these concerns, how can we allow the fraud of  'rehab' to continue?" - Peter Sprigg, writing for the Family Research Council's blog.

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Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

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VIRGINIA: AG Mark Herring Ask SCOTUS To Continue Stay On Same-Sex Marriages

Via the Washington Post:
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) told the Supreme Court on Monday that it should put on hold a lower court’s order that same-sex couples in the state be allowed to marry, beginning this week. Herring said that he agrees with the panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit that struck Virginia’s ban as unconstitutional, but that it is better for the Supreme Court to delay the marriages and immediately accept the case for review. “Although it is painful to keep Virginia’s same-sex couples and their children waiting any longer to enjoy the rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, the rule of law requires that this court be afforded the time needed to settle the question,” Herring wrote in a filing to the court. The groups representing those challenging the ban said the court should not step in to stop the marriages, which would commence Thursday without Supreme Court intervention.
AFER, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU, who represent the plaintiffs, have not yet responded to Herring's move. Yesterday all three issued briefs opposing any continuance of the stay.

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Announcer Don Pardo Dies At Age 96

Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo has died at the age of 96.
Pardo died peacefully at his home in Tucson, Arizona, where he moved after retiring from SNL in 2006, said his daughter, Dona Pardo. Creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels asked him to continue with the show, and for many weeks he recorded his introductions from his Tucson home, she said. Those introductions and his voice were so distinctive that longtime fans of the late-night sketch comedy series immediately noticed when he missed the opening of the March 2, 2013 episode; it was later reported that he had suffered a broken hip. Pardo, who began his career at NBC Radio in 1940 and switched to television in the 1950s, worked as an announcer on numerous game shows including The Price is Right and the original Jeopardy! in the mid-1960s. He was Jeopardy!'s announcer from 1964 until the original version, with host Art Fleming, ended in 1975. A decade later, in 1975, he turned to late night work, becoming the voice over announcer for the hit comedy series Saturday Night Live.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

American Family Association: All Gays Should Be Banned From Holding Office

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ARKANSAS: Tomorrow In Fayetteville

We could use a win after Baton Rouge and Billings. Arkansas readers, do what you can. (Tipped by JMG reader Brandon)

UPDATE: Human clown car Michelle Duggar is robocalling Fayettville voters. The text of her call:
Hello, this is Michelle Duggar. I’m calling to inform you of some shocking news that would affect the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children. The Fayetteville City Council is voting on an ordinance this Tuesday night that would allow men – yes I said men – to use womens and girls restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only. I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls. I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space. We should never place the preference of an adult over the safety and innocence of a child. Parents, who do you want undressing next to your daughter at the public swimming pool’s private changing area? I still believe that we are a society that puts women and children first. Women, young ladies and little girls deserve to use the restroom or any other facility in peace and safety. Will you speak up for protecting women and children? Call 575-8330 and tell the Fayetteville City Council members and Mayor Jordan to vote ‘no’ on ordinance 119. The number again is 575-8330. For more information please go to www.freefayetteville.org. Paid for by freefayetteville.org.

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VIRGINIA: AFER Tells SCOTUS Not To Continue Stay On Same-Sex Marriages

Via press release:
Today, lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the Bostic case responded to a petition by defendants seeking a stay of the United States Circuit Court for the Fourth Circuit’s decision that found Virginia’s marriage ban unconstitutional by urging the Supreme Court not to delay the issuance of marriage licenses for same-sex couples in Virginia. The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the primary sponsor of the Bostic case.

“Virginia’s exclusion of gays and lesbians from the fundamental right to marriage causes painful, irreparable, and immeasurable injury to large numbers of its citizens every day and every moment it remains in existence, and humiliates and stigmatizes these individuals and their children in ways too numerous to enumerate,” said Ted Olson, lead co-counsel for the Bostic plaintiffs. “Courts all over the country are overwhelmingly and with an unprecedented degree of unanimity recognizing that there is no legal basis for continuing to impose this kind of harm on our fellow citizens. There is no justification for staying the effect of the Fourth Circuit’s decision upholding the rights of Virginians to marry the person they love.”

Prince William County Clerk Michèle McQuigg filed her petition to stay the Fourth Circuit Court’s mandate on Thursday, August 14, 2014. Should Chief Justice Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice responsible for emergency petitions made within the Fourth Circuit, deny the stay request, marriages for gay and lesbian couples would be set to begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, August 21, 2014.
And now we wait.

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NIGERIA: Multimillionaire Pastor Sends Planeload Of "Holy Water" To Cure Ebola

Multimillionaire faith-healer T.B. Joshua has sent a planeload of "holy water" to Sierra Leone because it will cure ebola. Via Vocative:
Sierra Leone just got a big gift from a strange man. To help the West African country fight the escalating Ebola crisis, Nigerian Christian preacher Temitope Joshua says he has sent the Sierra Leone government 4,000 bottles of his patented holy anointed water and $50,000 in cash in a private jet, which also cost $50,000 to charter. Sierra Leone will, one would assume, take every penny it can get to stem the Ebola outbreak, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives worldwide, with the majority of the victims in West African countries. Such odd largess does certainly beg the question, though: Who the hell is this guy? For starters, Joshua is a millionaire. Forbes reported that with an estimated net worth of $10 million to $15 million, Joshua is one of the richest pastors in Nigeria. He’s also one the most controversial. He’s the founder and head of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), and has been dubbed a prophet by some. Joshua has claimed for years that he has healing powers that can tackle a myriad of incurable diseases such as cancer and HIV—and that he can peek into the future.
Hemant Mehta weighs in at Friendly Atheist:
This isn’t just ineffective, it’s harmful. It’s possible that people suffering from the disease — who need to be quarantined and given whatever scientific treatment options are available — could “anoint” themselves with the water, wrongly think they’re cured, and then go out in public again, spreading the virus even further. I never thought I’d say this, but Joshua would be doing more for Ebola patients by praying for them, only because it would have no effect on them whatsoever.
PREVIOUSLY ON JMG:  Four people were killed in Ghana in 2013 in a church stampede to get "AIDS-curing holy water" from T.B. Joshua. In 2011, three women died in London after pastors from Joshua's church convinced them to throw away their HIV medications.

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KENTUCKY: Creationist Ark Encounter Theme Park Wants Public Money But Non-Christians Can't Work There

On the same day that the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority gave its preliminary approval for $18 million in tax incentives for the proposed Ark Encounter theme park, its backers at Answers In Genesis posted a help wanted ad which makes it very clear that non-Christians need not apply. And many actual Christians shouldn't either. From an op-ed in the Lexington Herald-Leader:
When Ark Encounter was originally approved for much larger tax incentives they were required not to discriminate in hiring. However, it is apparent that Ark Encounter is likely to discriminate against non-Christians. Moreover, Catholics, mainstream Protestant Christians and some conservative Christians who have different doctrinal beliefs are also unlikely to be hired. The ad has specific religious requirements for employment. These include a salvation testimony, a "creation belief statement" and a requirement that applicants agree with the organization's "statement of faith." This required statement includes articles that imply that fundamentalist Christianity is the only acceptable religion and that denigrate non-Christians, non-fundamentalist Christians, and homosexuals (regardless of their theological views). The governor, tourism secretary, and various Grant County officials claim the granting of tax incentives is about jobs for the area. However, even in such a religiously conservative area as Grant County and Williamstown, many people will not be eligible for employment. I suspect that even [Gov. Steve] Beshear would not be eligible for a minimum-wage position selling corn dogs.
The author of the above-linked piece is the president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society.

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Jordan Windle, Teen Athlete With Gay Dads, Wins Men's National Diving Title

ESPN reports:
Jordan Windle is a national champion diver before he's old enough to be a licensed driver. Windle, who doesn't turn 16 until November, convincingly won the men's 10-meter title with 527.8 points Sunday to cap the final day of the U.S. national diving championships. Windle exceeded 90 points on each of his first three dives. He started his day by earning 103.6 points on a forward 4½-somersault tuck. That was the only 100-point dive by anyone in the six-day event. "It definitely boosted my confidence," Windle said. "From there on, my coach was really excited for me and just told me to have fun and stuff. That's what I did through the whole event." This is the latest chapter in Windle's compelling rise. Windle was born in Cambodia and was placed in an orphanage as a baby after his parents died. He was adopted as an 18-month-old and moved to the United States. He now lives in Morrisville, North Carolina.
Windle, who posted an It Gets Better video in 2011, was the grand marshal of an Indiana gay pride event in 2012 when he was just 13 years old. His website catalogs his life with his dads and his ambition to dive for the United States at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. And if that's not enough, he's authored a children's book about adoption. Titled An Orphan No More, the foreword is by Greg Louganis. (Tipped by JMG reader Jan)

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Where The Bears Are, Season 3, Ep. 3

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VIRGINIA: Plaintiffs To Tell SCOTUS Not To Continue Same-Sex Marriage Stay

On Friday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts announced a 5PM today deadline for Virginia's marriage plaintiffs to respond to the stay continuance demand made last week by the Alliance Defending Freedom. Via press release:
Today, Lambda Legal, the ACLU and ACLU of Virginia will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the motion filed Thursday by Prince William County Clerk Michèle McQuigg seeking to stay the recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Schaefer v. Bostic striking down Virginia’s discriminatory marriage ban. The organizations also will request that, if the Court decides to grant the stay, it should accept the case for full review as quickly as possible in order to minimize the harm that would be caused by the delay of the Fourth Circuit decision. "We will fight these last-ditch desperate attempts to delay the inevitable arrival of the day when same-sex couples can marry in Virginia,” Jon Davidson, Legal Director at Lambda Legal, said. “But if the Court grants a stay, we want this issue to be decided as quickly as possible.” “The Fourth Circuit finally ruled to let us get married and we are anxious to finally plan our wedding,” said Joanne Harris, who with Jessica Duff is one of the named plaintiff couples in the lawsuit. “Jessi and I are prepared to continue to fight, but we shouldn’t have to wait any longer.”
AFER is also a party to the Bostic case so we might see a response from them as well today.

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John Oliver: Let's Take These "Fucking Toys" Away From Local Police

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Daniel Radcliffe On Self-Googling

A reporter from the Guardian talked to Daniel Radcliffe about self-Googling.
I wonder if he has ever Googled himself and seen the automatic search entries, but before I finish the question he’s started reeling them off: “Daniel Radcliffe alcoholic. Daniel Radcliffe gay. Daniel Radcliffe girlfriend,” he says, sighing as he does. Actually, I tell him, girlfriend is the top result these days. “Oh great – I’ll take that, as these things go. I’m pleased my girlfriend comes up before alcoholic or gay. When I first did that, I got really annoyed for about half a minute, until I tried a few other people’s names and I found out [gay] comes up after almost everyone if they’re a man, and even some women – Florence Welch had it, and I was like, really?” Maybe it’s a sign that a star has made it. “Probably. If people are speculating about your sexuality, then you’re doing OK,” he laughs, then says that these days he resists the temptation to self-Google as “it fucks you up. You shouldn’t be on there if you’re an actor. There’s a line in The Thick Of It – Googling yourself is like opening the door to a room full of people telling you how shit you are – and it’s exactly that. I first did it in my late teens and it was such a destructive thing for me to do.”
Radcliffe's What If is now in theaters.

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MISSOURI: Gov. Jay Nixon Orders National Guard To Respond In Ferguson

Nixon did not notify the White House of this action.
“Folks didn’t know,” an administration official told BuzzFeed Monday. “The White House did not know they were sending it in.” Nixon gave “no heads up,” the official said. President Obama is back at the White House today on a pre-scheduled break from his August vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. He’s scheduled to be briefed by Attorney General Eric Holder on the situation in Ferguson early this afternoon. Holder and the administration have been critical of the militarized response to protests in Ferguson.

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Poll: Most Republicans Would Be "Upset" If Their Child Turned Out To Be Gay

Via Talking Points Memo:
Six in 10 Republicans would be upset if they had a child who told them he or she was gay, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. Twenty-three percent of Republicans surveyed said they'd be "very upset" and 37 percent would be "upset." Just 38 percent said they'd either be "not very upset" or "not upset at all." By contrast, a total of 28 percent of Democrats would be either "very upset" or "upset" if their child came out as gay or lesbian. Seventy percent said they wouldn't be upset. Among all national adults surveyed, 35 percent said they'd be upset while 62 percent said they would not be. The findings reflect significant partisan divisions in attitudes toward gay rights amid a national sea change for gay equality. A similar poll conducted in 1985 by the Los Angeles Times found that a whopping 89 percent of adults said they'd be upset if their child was gay; just 9 percent said they'd be okay with it.
The same poll showed support for marriage equality at 54% overall. (Tipped by JMG reader DM)

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"Ex-Gay" Evacuation Plan

PFOX has issued an evacuation plan for escaping from homosexuality. Read more at Good As You.

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REPORT: Six LGBT Persons Stoned To Death By Mob In Rural Uganda

According to an as yet unconfirmed report, six LGBT persons have been stoned to death by a mob in rural Uganda. A seventh person was reportedly beaten to death. Via press release from the Safe Passage Fund:
Over the past week, Ugandan activists have reported the horrific murders of six LGBT individuals in a rural zone of the country: three gay men, two lesbians and a transperson. They were killed by stoning. One who survived (still breathing after stoning) was burnt alive using kerosene/paraffin and a match box,” stated a witness and source to the Friends New Underground Railroad (FNUR), a Quaker solidarity initiative helping LGBT people in Uganda. A seventh gay man was reported to have been attacked by a mob and died a day later from head injuries. According to the source, a rural vigilante mob attacked the 28-year-old gay man in a different zone on August 5th. "I went to the scene,” wrote the eyewitness in an email. “I saved [____] when I lied to the mob that let me take him to the police." The witness stated that he was able to convince the mob he would deliver the victim to the police, but instead put him on a boda boda (motorcycle) and rescued him. The victim was later denied medical care, he alleged, because he lacked funds to pay.

Documentary evidence of the attack was provided, including pictures of the young gay man who died of his injuries on Monday, August 11th and buried two days later. Pictures provided from the scene show a young man sitting on the ground in a public street, his face and neck covered in blood. The sources have other details supporting the claim. The reports come from several Ugandan activists, including those who helped rescue the head trauma victim. The reports were shared with Olympia, Washington-based FNUR (referred to as the ‘Railroad’) and then the Safe Passage Fund, a fund set up to help LGBT victims of persecution. At press time, the names, identities, and location of the victims and the witnesses were not being publicly disclosed by the FNUR for security reasons. Several Ugandan rights groups in Kampala and researchers are launching independent investigations of the allegations. Local sources for the stonings say local radio stations in the zone have been broadcasting information about anti-gay incidents. Further investigation is underway.
Read the full press release (PDF). The Safe Passage Fund also reports that 65 people have been smuggled out of Uganda in recent days. Donations to the Safe Passage Fund can be made here.

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Tweet Of The Day

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Matt Baume: Marriage News Watch

Clip recap:
Major news in Virginia this week, where the Fourth Circuit has refused to delay marriage equality for any longer. Now anti-gay defendants have asked the US Supreme Court to step in at the last minute. A judge in Tennessee has upheld that state's marriage ban, on the basis of outdated arguments regarding procreation. And over a dozen couples successfully register marriage licenses in Mississippi during a coordinated day of action.

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Paul Singer's Super PAC To Donate $2M To Pro-Gay Marriage GOP House Candidates

Billionaire investor Paul Singer's American Unity super PAC plans to donate at least $2M to the campaigns of GOP House candidates that endorse same-sex marriage.
The group has drawn up plans to back seven congressional candidates ahead of November's elections and could add more to the roster, said Jeff Cook-McCormac, a senior adviser to American Unity PAC and its policy arm, American Unity Fund. They include incumbents such as Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican who announced his support for gay marriage in May and Richard Tisei, an openly gay Republican making his second bid for a U.S. House seat in Massachusetts. The super PAC already has spent $700,000 in a congressional primary this year to help Republican Rep. Richard Hanna beat back a Tea Party-backed challenger in upstate New York. Hanna, a two-term incumbent, backs a federal bill to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
From the American Unity website: "Every day the voices of inclusion are getting stronger in the Republican Party as our nation moves closer to the realization of full freedom and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Help us fight for a better future for the GOP and defend the courageous Republican legislators who are standing up on the right side of history."

RELATED: It isn't mentioned in the above-linked USA Today piece, but American Unity revealed in June that they would be backing San Diego homocon Carl DeMaio, who is running against incumbent Rep. Scott Peters, a pro-gay marriage Democrat. Let's hope they've reconsidered.

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RUSSIA: Neo-Nazi Gay Basher Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For "Extremism"

Following his January extradition from Cuba, where he had fled Russian and Ukrainian authorities, notorious gay-basher Maxim Martsinkevich has been sentenced to five years in a Russian prison. Via LGBTQ Nation:
Martsinkevich was convicted of inciting and fomenting cases of extremism by posting videos on the “Vkontakte” (VK.com) social network that contained racial slurs and extremist opinions on Russia’s state of the union, however videos containing anti-gay statements and abuse were not included in the prosecutor’s case against him. Martsinkevich rose to international attention last year when his group began posting videos on VK.com and YouTube, documenting violent and homophobic harassment of men and gay youth the group claims were seeking to have sex with boys. Amid outrage by international Human Rights groups and the prosecutor’s office in what was then Sevastopol, Ukraine (which sought to arrest him for crimes against a young male adult citizen of Ukraine) Martsinkevich fled to Cuba in December 2013, but was arrested and extradited for breaking Cuban immigration law in January. Meanwhile, other members of “Occupy Paedophilia” are currently awaiting trial for their participation in anti-gay crimes. According to the prosecutor’s office in the Kamensk-Uralsky region, a court on August 8 approved the indictment in a criminal case against nine members of the group.
Bolding is mine.

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Iranian Leader Uses Ferguson To Denounce Race Relations In United States

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Exorcism Of The Day

"Casting out demons isn't easy, especially what that demon is a tough one like Jezebel - who doesn't want to give up her host!"

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What If You "Like" Everything?

A writer for Wired clicked the like button on (almost) every item in his Facebook feed for 48 hours. Here's what happened:
My News Feed took on an entirely new character in a surprisingly short amount of time. After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour, there were no human beings in my feed anymore. It became about brands and messaging, rather than humans with messages. Likewise, content mills rose to the top. Nearly my entire feed was given over to Upworthy and the Huffington Post. As I went to bed that first night and scrolled through my News Feed, the updates I saw were (in order): Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, a Levi’s ad, Space.com, Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Verge, Huffington Post, Space.com, Upworthy, Space.com. Also, as I went to bed, I remember thinking “Ah, crap. I have to like something about Gaza,” as I hit the Like button on a post with a pro-Israel message. By the next morning, the items in my News Feed had moved very, very far to the right. I’m offered the chance to like the 2nd Amendment and some sort of anti-immigrant page. I like them both. I like Ted Cruz. I like Rick Perry. The Conservative Tribune comes up again, and again, and again in my News Feed. As day one rolled into day two, I began dreading going to Facebook. It had become a temple of provocation. Just as my News Feed had drifted further and further right, so too did it drift further and further left. Rachel Maddow, Raw Story, Mother Jones, Daily Kos and all sort of other leftie stuff was interspersed with items that are so far to the right I’m nearly afraid to like them for fear of ending up on some sort of watch list.
The only item he declined to like was when a friend announced the death of a relative.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry: My Indictment For Abuses Of Power Is An Abuse Of Power


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Quote Of The Day - Gina Miller

"Back in March and then in May, I told you about a new, brazen campaign by homofascist activists to target three southern states, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, with their aggressive push for the destruction of marriage and the creation of other special 'rights' for sexual deviants. With the hellish support of homosexuality-lover Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) the militant homosexual movement is now on steroids, which makes them bolder than ever, bold enough to target conservative states with larger Christian populations. The fast-spreading cancer of the militant homosexualist movement has now hit our southern states with a fury. The hour is late. We're far beyond the point at which we should give a rip what the radical communist Left says about us. We should not care a whit when they call us foolish, mindless names as we tell the truth about their evil agenda. As I have said many times before, there are two camps in this world, the Lord's camp and Satan's camp. Each of us is in one or the other. There is no neutral camp – NONE." - Christian radio host Gina Miller, in a column published on Alan Keyes' Renew America and on Matt Barber's BarbWire.

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NEW YORK CITY: Ad Agency Disciplines Executive Over Transphobic Column

Via AdWeek:
Gavin McInnes, chief creative officer of Rooster in New York, has been asked to take an indefinite leave of absence following the publication of a transphobic essay. Published earlier this week on Thought Catalog, "Transphobia is Perfectly Natural" has at publication received 2,082 comments. It has also sparked a "Boycott Rooster" movement, with Tumblr and Twitter accounts asking followers to let Rooster clients—Vans, Red Bull, Fox Sports and others—know they will not support companies that work with McInnes. "Gavin's views are his own and do not represent those of the company or its members," said a Rooster representative. "We are extremely disappointed with his actions and have asked that he take a leave of absence while we determine the most appropriate course of action."
Initial reports said that McGinnes had been suspended. Thought Catalog has placed his repulsive column behind a warning page. McGinnes is an occasional commentator on Fox News.

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